College Football Featured Pick of the Day by sportsprofitsystem.com

Take East Carolina at -3 spread against North Carolina risking 2%

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With these two teams being in-state rivals, it’s easy to argue that the UNC Tarheels are the bigger name program and get far more recognition than their counterparts, the ECU Pirates. However just because the Tarheels are more well-known, that does not mean that they are the better team. This year, we don’t believe they are and see 'Little Brother' making up for old times against ’Big Brother’ just as they did last year.

North Carolina has failed to impress thus far this season despite grabbing 2 wins against Liberty and San Diego State and that is because the final score doesn’t always tell an accurate story. The Tarheels have sputtered on the offensive side and lost some big players in the offseason, most notably TE Eric Ebron. Meanwhile their defense has struggled to contain opposing offenses but has been very fortunate with some very ‘lucky’ breaks that has allowed them to sport a 2-0 record thus far. North Carolina has benefited from 9 opponent turnovers in their first 2 games! They have been outgained and basically outplayed but capitalized on timely takeaways and won two games without covering either. Those two lackluster performances were at home but tonight they’ll be on the road for the first time this season and also take a step up in competition! We don’t expect the Pirates to turn it over 6 times like SDSU did which is the sole reason they were beaten. 

The East Carolina Pirates have been playing tremendous ball this season against some tough competition. The highlight of their season came last week when they upset the Virginia Tech Hokies on the road! Not only did the Pirates beat them, they essentially dominated them for large parts. They led 21-0 at one point before nearly throwing it all away but ultimately came away with a confidence-boosting signature win that a smaller program like this needs to go on and have a succesful season. Prior to that game, they had hung in tough with South Carolina which was also another road outing while their lone previous home game saw them put on a sensational performance!

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The Pirates are a dangerous team and their most potent weapon is in the passing game. Senior QB Shane Carden is back this season and off to a great start. He absolutely torched a top notch Hokie secondary with 427 yards through the air and 3 TDs. If you remember last season’s meeting between these two teams, Carden absolutely shredded the Tarheels secondary completing 32 of 47 passes for 376 yards! The UNC defense has not improved since then as they have given up an average of 265 yards through the air against teams like Liberty! They haven’t defended the run well either since this is an experienced defensive unit that is clearly in transition mode. Carden has an extremely talented receiving corps at his disposal this season with Justin Hardy, Cam Worthy and Isaiah Jones all making immense contributions. Against a team as proficient in the passing game as ECU, the Pirates could be marching up and down the field all afternoon long against a defense that can’t seem to stop neither the run nor the pass.   

This is also only the second time that ECU have been listed as the favorites in this series and there are good reasons for that. UNC has faced lesser opposition at home thus far and yet looked poor in nearly all facets and they are also dealing with some key injuries. They will be without offensive guard Landon Turner and could also potentially be missing Caleb Peterson and TJ Thorpe who are both banged up and listed as questionable. UNC may own the series meetings between these two but history books don’t dictate the level of talent that is currently on both sides. ECU took a big step in evening out the series last season by coming away with the 55-31 victory in Chapel Hill!  With this game being played on their home turf, in front of their crowd against a UNC team that is weaker than they were last year, we expect the Pirates to get the better of them again. A field goal is a small line to lay with a team that has the ability to put points on the board in a hurry. It’s also worth mentioning that the Tar Heels travel to Clemson next and could be looking partially ahead to that while ECU is solely focused on this game with SMU on deck.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • ECU is 9-3 ATS in home games over the last 3 seasons!
  • Larry Fedora’s team is 2-7 ATS on the road since 2012.
  • North Carolina defense missed 34 tackles in their fortunate win over SDSU!
  • Ruffin McNeill is 10-2 ATS as ECU coach after a game in which his team had 100 or less rushing yards!

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College Football Featured Pick of the Day by sportsprofitsystem.com

Take South Alabama at +14 spread against Mississippi State risking 2%

Ladd-Peebles Stadium will be rocking this afternoon when the Mississippi State Bulldogs square off against South Alabama Jaguars.
Given the fact that Southern Alabama is a much smaller school, this is a big game for them! Mississippi State is from one of the 5 “Power” conferences and when a team gets to test their mettle against tougher competition, it usually brings out the best in them as there will be no lack of effort, desire or motivation. The Jaguars have been looking forward to this date and view this game as their Bowl Game!

As for the Bulldogs, they are off to a 2-0 start this season. They have a solid QB in Dak Prescott, they are big and they are fast. Perhaps more importantly however, they are starting to believe in their own hype and are already getting full of themselves. We have seen their confidence build over the last two weeks as they started to click on both the offensive and defensive sides and although very premature, there is already talks of grandoise dreams. While confidence is a good thing, it can also cause a team to get complacent and begin to overlook smaller opponents.

The Jaguars are not a team that is going to win a national title anytime soon. They are also not a team that has the best athletes but they will be the team that is more motivated in this one. This will also be the Bulldogs’ first road game of the season. While they have put in impressive performances in their first two games, they had done so in the luxury of Davis Wade Stadium where the cowbells were ringing loud and proud. Tonight will be a different story and that can often times mess with the psyche of a young player. When the going gets tough, in a hostile environment, it is an entirely new challenge to battle through adversity. We do expect the Bulldogs to show a bit of rust being on the road in this one and although we see them winning, we don’t see that happening with ease.

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This is also a classic look-ahead spot for the Bulldogs as they have a huge game on deck in Death Valley against the LSU Tigers next week! The Bulldogs are naturally look at that game as their chance to make a statement in the SEC this season. LSU has a rather easy game on their schedule tonight as they are sizable favorites and in all likelihood, both teams expect that they will be undefeated when they meet next week. However that may not necessarily be the case if Mississippi State doesn’t give the proper respect to the opponents in front of them.

Two touchdowns is a lot of points to lay on the first road game of a season in a look-ahead spot. There are a lot that can go wrong for them. This game could be closely contested throughout, State could make some mistakes early and play from behind or State could have such a big lead that Dan Mullen pulls his starters in the second half allowing the Jaguars to grab a backdoor cover. We have seen the Bulldogs show their lack of discipline on the defensive end numerous times and that may give South Alabama their opening. This is not the ideal spot for the Bulldogs to lay this many points with arguably their biggest game of the season coming up next week against highly motivated and capable opponents. Take the points as they should come into play.

Other notable facts to consider:

Mississippi State is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 road openers.
Dan Mullen is just 9-19 ATS versus an opponent with a winning percentage greater than .750
South Alabama not only won and covered but was impressive fundamentally in their season opener.

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